Emiel Puttemans Profile b. 1947 In the early 1970s Belgian runner Emiel Puttemans was the leading 5,000 runner in the world. During the five-year span from 1971 to 1975, he was the fastest in the world for three of those years and second-fastest once. He set four outdoor world records (3,000, 2 Miles, Three Miles and 5,000) and twelve indoor world records (2,000, 3,000 [twice], Two Miles, Three Miles [three times], 5,000 [three times], Six Miles, and 10,000). He was also very consistent, running under 13:30 for 5,000 eleven years in a row (1971-1981). Despite all this, Puttemans’ greatness has been underestimated because he never won a major outdoor championship. His best Olympic result was a silver medal in the 1972 Olympic 10,000, where it took a world record by Lasse Viren of Finland to defeat him. This race showed the Belgian to be a great fighter. He was the only one to answer Viren’s acceleration at the bell and closing round the last bend, he looked like he might catch the Finn. It was only when Viren managed to accelerate yet again that the race was decided.